Reframing your inner dialogue for a more positive outlook on life

No matter what path we follow in life, one thing is guaranteed for each and every one of us: there will be highs and lows. Many events that occur in life are out of our control, but what is always within our power is how we receive and respond to them. This alone, regardless of how big or small the instance actually is, has a powerful influence on how much impact it has on our lives and our happiness.

In this journal entry, we share simple pointers for ways in which you can adjust your way of thinking to view life and all of its events – the good, the bad and the ugly! – in a balanced light, which will in turn help nurture mental and emotional stability.

Train yourself out of catastrophising

We can put so much emphasis on the smallest things in life, which can throw our emotions way out of balance when things don’t turn out as we’d hoped. Instead, take a mental step back and objectively assess what the actual impact is. Often, it’s nowhere near as dramatic as you may have first thought.

Find the silver lining

We can look at a cup as half full or half empty – it’s all a matter of choice. In most situations, there’s a silver lining that we can choose to celebrate instead of dwelling on what could have been. For instance, if the weather is dreary and raining all weekend, rather than focusing on how this may have impacted your plans, you can think of it as the perfect opportunity to curl up at home and read or rest. This turns what could be a potentially disappointed outlook to one that allows you to still look forward to the weekend ahead!

Physically remove yourself from the situation

Sometimes, the worst thing you can do is remain physically present in a situation, especially if you’re experiencing significant levels of anxiety or stress that’s clouding your judgement. Taking yourself away from that environment can do wonders to shift your energy, clear your mind and reel your emotions back to a reasonable state. We suggest taking a walk outdoors or practising breathing exercises to ground your focus.

Manage your expectations and be flexible

Expecting perfection will almost always leave you disappointed – because it’s simply not possible to achieve! Instead, approach situations – particularly those which may place you under significant pressure – with an open mind and cool temperament, and remain flexible to the possibility that not everything may turn out as you had planned. Sometimes, this opens the doors to even better opportunities! Regardless, proactively managing your expectations allows you to more easily adapt to changing circumstances and achieve an outcome that you are just as satisfied with – even if you have to take the scenic route to it!

Call on your support network

Bouncing your internal dialogue off your close friends and family can be a fantastic way to gain a fresh perspective. Even hearing yourself voicing your thoughts can sometimes highlight instances where you may not be thinking in a logical or balanced way. Seek advice and lean on others for support. We’re not meant to walk the path through life alone. This can also be incredibly humbling and shift your mindset to one of gratitude for the supportive and caring people that surround you.

Take note of the positives 

As humans, we have an unfortunate knack for focusing on the negative. And when several ‘negative’ circumstances accumulate – no matter how significant – we can tend to think it’s the end of the world. The shame in this fact is that we can so easily overlook and dismiss all of our previous positive experiences. A way to avoid this is by taking a few minutes at the end of each day to note down your wins – both big and small. When you’re feeling moments of stress, anxiety or tension, this serves as a reminder of all the good you have experienced and helps keep you from catastrophising scenarios.

Controlling your emotions before they control you can often be easier said than done. However, practice and patience will help you master this, providing a hugely beneficial impact on how you view and approach life in the future.